Flashbacks: February 10, 2006

The Boston Phoenix has been covering the trends and events that shape our times since 1966.
By EDITORIAL  |  February 9, 2006

Kiss and tell | 5 years ago | February 9, 2001 | With Valentine’s Day approaching, Charyn Pfeuffer confessed to serial lip-locking.

“I am a kissing bandit. Nothing excites me more than exchanging that first kiss — the experience of absolute liberation, the thrill of letting go. Kissing, to put it simply, rocks my world. This ritual is what sexperts call ‘foreplay,’ what anthropologists call ‘pre-copulatory activity,’ and what Marvin Gaye calls ‘getting it on.’ Usually, these orchestrated maneuvers are sweet and fleeting. Feelings are rarely hurt, and it’s a secret I know I’ll always share with the kissee.

“My first French kiss took place at a seventh-grade dance with Peter Salt, the son of an English teacher. Frenching wasn’t as repulsive as I had feared, but it wasn’t too mind-blowing either. As our tongues clumsily intertwined, it dawned on me that you can’t truly enjoy something you don’t have the first clue how to do. This need to learn before I could enjoy led me to believe that there was nothing ‘natural’ about intimacy. I later learned differently.”

Lord of the dance | 10 years ago | February 9, 1996 | Steve Vineberg paid tribute to the recently deceased screen star Gene Kelly.

“Gene Kelly, who died Friday at the age of 83, had the compact build of a champion middleweight and a smile that could fade neon. Leaping into movie musicals a decade after Fred Astaire had conquered them, he offered something elementally different from Astaire’s ethereal, high-comic grace — a button-eyed vaudevillian scrappy resilience, a genial Irish scruffiness beneath a gleaming veneer of pure salesmanship....

“His best movie roles never lost that sparring bounce, which is at the heart of his dancing style, too, with its shrugs and pretzel turns and a raucous mix of glides and kicks. That’s why he never seemed quite right in fanciful costumes, carrying a rose to Kathryn Grayson in his teeth in Anchors Aweigh or embodying the styles of various French painters in the overblown finale to An American in Paris. This is, not unless he could lampoon them, the way or he and Jean Hagen do in the explosively funny costume-epic sequence in Singin’ in the Rain. Kelly belongs on the Montmartre street corner in An American in Paris, hawking his paintings and razzing the art students who try to critique them, or in the back-lot tenement in Cover Girl, where he executes the tricky, memorable ‘alter ego’ number, playing call-and-response with his own conscience and finally making it disappear by hurling a garbage can through a window.”

Close encounter | 15 years ago | February 8, 1991 | Peter Keough discovers what setsSilence of the Lambs apart from other horror flicks.

“The most terrifying moment in Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel Silence of the Lambs — which may be the most terrifying thriller ever made (it opens here next week) — is also the quietest. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), an idealistic FBI agent, is investigating Buffalo Bill, a serial killer who preys on women. She confers with another killer, the incarcerated Dr. Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). A former psychiatrist, Lecter turns his analytical gaze on Starling and compels her to recall a childhood memory. She remembers waking one morning as a child on her uncle’s farm to a terrible screaming — the spring lambs about to be slaughtered. Without success she tried to rescue one; since then, the silent screaming hasn’t stopped.

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